Large retailers have spent billions of dollars to woo workers. Smaller stores that can't do that expect staff shortages will lead to lost sales. They're asking shoppers to be patient.
Many major retailers and fast-food chains have announced they will be closed this Thanksgiving. A few, however, will stay open for customers.
The CDC says that having every person in attendance vaccinated is important for protecting those who can't get a shot. And it recommends that those who aren't fully vaccinated delay travel.
Toy-makers are warning of emptier shelves and pricier toys this holiday season. Their supplies are ensnarled in floating traffic jams of container ships wallowing near key U.S. ports.
All year, cleaning products have been flying off the shelves — now, they're flying straight into Christmas stockings and wrapping paper.
"We're really busy. It's been unbearable," sighed Manny Huenchunir, a Postal Service truck driver who was unloading and reloading crates of mail at a post office outside Boston on Tuesday night.
If you haven't ordered gifts online yet, it may be too late to get them delivered by Christmas. More consumers are shopping online this year, and extra holiday demand is exceeding delivery capacity.
Retail and food sales were up 5.8 percent in November over the same time last year, the Commerce Department said. Retailers are hoping for their best year since before the economic recession.
UPS plans to charge retailers a fee for orders placed around Black Friday and Christmas. Retailers now have to decide whether they will raise shipping fees on consumer orders.